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Spring City, Tennessee
Town of Spring City
Location of Spring City in Rhea County, Tennessee.
Location of Spring City in Rhea County, Tennessee.
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Rhea
 • Total 2.80 sq mi (7.25 km2)
 • Land 2.76 sq mi (7.16 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2)
761 ft (232 m)
 • Total 1,981
 • Estimate 
 • Density 669.68/sq mi (258.58/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
37337, 37381
Area code(s) 423
FIPS code 47-70400
GNIS feature ID 1303755

Spring City is a town in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,025 at the 2000 census and 1,981 at the 2010 census. The town is located along Watts Bar Lake, and Watts Bar Dam and the Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station are nearby.


Spring City began as a stop along the Cincinnati Southern Railroad in the 1870s. The town was originally named "Rheaville," but nearby Rhea Springs, an older community the railroad had bypassed, objected to the name, so the name "Spring City" was chosen instead. Spring City thrived as a railroad shipping hub during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its first depot, a simple wooden building constructed in 1879, burned in 1892, and was replaced by a larger one. This second depot was in turn replaced by the current depot, which was completed by the Southern Railway in 1909.

Spring City Depot, completed in 1909

The city received an economic boost in 1942 with the Tennessee Valley Authority's completion of Watts Bar Dam and its associated reservoir southeast of the town. That same year saw the completion of the Watts Bar Fossil Plant, TVA's first coal-fired plant. In 1973, TVA began building Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station. Its first reactor, Watts Bar Unit 1, became active in 1996. The construction of the second reactor, Watts Bar Unit 2, was originally suspended in 1985, but resumed in 2007. It is expected to be completed in 2016.

On August 22, 1955, 11 schoolchildren were killed, and many others injured, when their school bus was struck by a freight train at a track crossing in Spring City. Sybil Hardaway, a Spring City-based reporter, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her account of the incident.


Spring City is located at 35°41′22″N 84°51′50″W / 35.68944°N 84.86389°W / 35.68944; -84.86389 (35.689422, -84.863885).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), of which, 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (1.21%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 598
1900 640 7.0%
1910 1,039 62.3%
1920 1,001 −3.7%
1930 1,090 8.9%
1940 1,569 43.9%
1950 1,725 9.9%
1960 1,800 4.3%
1970 1,756 −2.4%
1980 1,951 11.1%
1990 2,199 12.7%
2000 2,025 −7.9%
2010 1,981 −2.2%
2019 (est.) 1,851 −6.6%

2020 census

Spring City racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,745 89.53%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 53 2.72%
Native American 5 0.26%
Asian 13 0.67%
Other/Mixed 80 4.1%
Hispanic or Latino 53 2.72%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,949 people, 935 households, and 537 families residing in the town.

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